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Polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) is a ferroelectric polymer with unique properties suitable for use in a wide range of medical and biological imaging applications. Most notable among these is its low acoustic impedance, which matches that of the body reasonably well, and its flexible mechanical properties. This paper traces the exploitation of PVDF as a transducer material from its early beginnings for thyroid and breast imaging to its current well-established applications in ultrasound biomicroscopy. Although PVDF's electromechanical properties fall short of composite ceramic materials in the traditional diagnostic frequency range, it has significant advantages in the 25-to 100-MHz range. Design criteria for high frequency transducers are reviewed, and examples of relevant medical and biological images are used to illustrate the excellent image quality obtained with this remarkable material.
Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics and Frequency Control, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:47 , Issue: 6 )
Date of Publication: Nov. 2000